Hi, im new and worried about my wife

Hi all,

as i said i'm new and have come across this site but haven't read though it properly yet. my wife has been drinking heavily for years now probably 10 if not more, everyday, as soon as she wakes up until she falls asleep. we have had so many rows about it because i hate it and she has been verbally abusive.

the other week she had a scan, and today she spoke to her gp and the gp said she has Cirrhosis of the liver.. but there's no sign fluid in her tummy??!!!. Gp said the next step is she has to have a liver biopsy.

umm i don't really have any questions for you guys to answer, not yet anyway, but i haven't really got anyone else to talk to at the mo, as she wants it kept secret for now.

ive confirmed a few things today on google relating her and this disease..

she had red marks like blood spots on her arms a few months back on a few occasions.

she hardly eats

if she does it its very little and sometimes sick after


bruises very easily

loss of sex drive completely

randomly sick

her legs feet go numb

Thanks for reading, sorry for any spelling / punctuation mistakes

oh if it matters, shes 39 years old!

Thanks again

18 Replies

  • Hi again, just to say im quite hard skinned and please dont worry about hurting my feelings in your replies/views. i would rather know from your own experiences than be led to believe all will be ok.

    thanks again

  • Hello Pete, welcome to the forum. Sorry you find yourself in this situation with your wife. I am sure as time goes on you will have questions to ask and when you do then please ask away as you will always find folks on here who have experienced either what your wife currently is or indeed what you are currently experiencing.

    It is a horrid illness and sadly if you wife isn't able to tackle her alcohol intake going forward she is going to be in a lot of trouble & her cirrhosis will continue to worsen. She would also not be a candidate for transplant unless she was proven to be sober for at a minimum of 6 months and psychologically assessed to prove she was capable of life long abstinence post transplant.

    The list of symptoms you have noted are common with cirrhosis. When my husband was first diagnosed in April 2012 (due to an auto-immune condition) I found the British Liver Trust page on cirrhosis a big help and I was able to tick off a great many of the symptoms it describes.


    If you feel you need help to cope with your loved ones alcohol usage then there is help & guidance for family members via Al-Anon. They have local groups or online help all of which can be accessed via :- al-anonuk.org.uk/

    Best wishes to you, as I say any time you have questions then ask away.

    Katie :)

  • thank you so much

  • hi Pete and welcome. I have been in the same position as your wife. alcohol dependant, as hard as I tried not to drink I could only last untill 11am before the Shakes started and the dry heaving .I had always been a social drinker untill I became a punch ball for 4 years from my now ex husband of which I had wished I had walked out on years ago but with three children in tow I had nowhere to go .I ended up eventually in a Matter of weeks with ascites. I was full of fluid. admitted to hospital for 6 weeks so that's where I stopped the drink .I have never had a biopsy done only scans and one endoscopy. I'm now coming up to 9 years living with the disease. my first appointment with a hepetologist Is on Tuesday. Your wife really has to stop the drink as this is such a powerful toxic to the liver. have you Spoken about a detox? as most hospitals do them. that's the first and most important part to get done. she is very lucky to have you , my ex didn't understand and was not bothered what happened to me . I hope you can get things sorted and soon .please keep in touch and ask any questions,, Kate is very good with everyone on this group. good luck. Linda 😊

  • hi linda,. she has been on a detox programme twice before but couldn't keep it up, taking the prescribed tablets and Dr visiting everyday ect, so she and i have known she's had a problem for a while..... it doesn't matter what time she wakes up wether its 9am 5am or midday the first thing she does is get a drink, she says it doesnt even do anything for her but obviously it does.. thanks for replying, im just trying to get my head around it all, as i kinda blocked it out for our 10 year old daughters sake..

    ps. ive always done the school runs

  • hi Pete , oh I see. so she's not good at handling the withdrawal then. thing is you have to want to want to stop then that in itself helps you psychologically through the first three days which are the worst .there are always alcohol support groups too ; I did manage to slowly detox myself with the help of my sister; a two week course of diszepam and an alcohol practitioner. don't get me wrong I have fell off the wagon when my dad passed away and I locked myself away from everyone and drank all day and night which then became my dependency,I was taken to hospital 16 months later with more ascites and told any more drinking and you will have less than 2 yrs if that to live. you both really need some sort of support. especially you as you are tanking care of Your daughter.. al anon as kate mentioned are very good .I hope in time that things will get better; but this liver biopsy she won't be able to have any alcohol at all before the procedure .. don't keep things to yourself anymore. your not the first or the last to go through what you are at the moment..

  • I have been battling this with my husband for ten years now, seven of which have involved significant bleeds, coma and significant hospital stays. Each case is unique. All I can share with you is she won't give up until she is ready and you cannot beat yourself bloody trying to save her, she has to do this for herself. It must be so hard for you with a young child. I didn't tell anyone for years. Big mistake. I cannot tell you what to do, but the stress of carrying it all inside sent me into depression. Once family and friends knew they were supportive of both of us. For my husband I fear it is too late. He cannot give up the demon drink. We don't row much any more because it is futile and changes nothing. You have to think of you and your child and find some way to get some peace in your lives whatever shape that takes. I wish you well my lovely, and hope you get a positive outcome to your situation. xx

  • hi pete

    it has been said before i'm sure that only she can stop,

    you know it's true but does not help. her resolve to stop will probably come in a hospital bed.in A&E

    till then look up support group, busses to the hospital, car parking, get a hospital bag together toiletries etc.

    lookup burst varese it can be a killer, and will probably the first thing that happens to her, and are you and her have life insurance

    you are not alone

  • Sorry she's being diagnosed at this relatively young age. On the plus side that should help if she can stop drinking. If she doesn't her chances of lasting beyond 5 years are low. Good luck . Loads of good advice on this site so keep posting

  • Hi Pete, i really do hope that this is the wake up call that she needs to stop; though even so, it is still so hard to do so for many. Your wife may be lucky; her liver may still be compensated (meaning it can still cope); but other tests will determine things more. If not done so already id request a referral to a Heptologist; also request a fibroscan maybe?? I do know that some people just have the fibroscan and ultrasound done, rather than a biopsy. Anyway, get as much information as you can on where she stands liver wise; People do live with cirrhosis; If its compensated and she stops drinking full stop; she can stabalise; but decompensated is another story . Your little girl needs a sober mum, and hopefully this can be a new beginning for your family; good luck, let us know how things go. She will also need more than these tablets; afterwards, she will need therapy/ group meetings etc/ ongoing i would suggest. xx

  • Hi there..so sorry this is happening. there is a group called Alanon for loved ones and family members..your young, you need to plan yr life, just so you know, the AA program teaches us that your only as sick as your secrets. She is still in d Niall..and that's great...for her. But what about you?

    I've been sober over 8 years.

    We allies are selfish and self seeking, and follow the whole poor pitiful me life. That way were never to blame..someone else it.

    Sorry to sound harsh..but right now you need to take care of you. End of story. Take her to an AA meeting and drop her off.

    It sounds like she's going to need medical detox

    Good luck sweetie. I am not a doctor. But I am a recovering drunk whose is back on the waiting list, after having my first transplant and it failing. Now I'm waiting on two new organs..it gets harder and harder. I just turned 50 Dec 29th. I had cirrhosis also.

    Cheering you on


  • hi again, thanks for all you comments and views, i have felt quite alone the last few years, "sad i know" ive never really talked about my situation or how i feel to people. Your input has made me feel like a bit of a weight has been lifted from me ( if that's the right term )

    thanks alot


  • Hi pete1980,

    Your post made me feel very uncomfortable as an alcoholic who has not had a drink for well over 20 years. It could have been written by my partner who stuck by me during the worst of my drinking and then helped me during my recovery. Your wife is following a similar pattern to the one I followed so I thought I would share a bit of my past, so here goes;

    I discovered alcohol when I was 18 and never looked back. within a few years I was drinking from first thing in the morning untill last thing at night. I very rarely shook as I was always drunk. I was drunk when I went to work and I was drunk when I drove. My only real love was alcohol and not even the birth of my son could change that.

    When I was 33 I was admitted to hospital with "alcoholic hepatitis" but when I was given a liver biopsy my body went into shock and my family was told that I would die as my liver had failed. I had ascites, I was jaundiced and had hepatic encephalitis, I was told afterwards that I thought that the staff had parties during the night and moved all the beds around. My son was brought in to see me and I still feel ashamed that the last picture of his mom could have been a swollen, yellow person crying in pain.

    To the surprise of everyone I did survive but even this close encounter did not stop me drinking despite been told that I had cirrhosis of the liver. I continued to drink excessively for several years before finally stopping when I was 42. I decided I wanted to live more than I wanted to drink and I am glad to say I stopped and have never started again. I also think part of it was due to the fact that I had become tired of the lies and deception that surrounded me while I was drinking.

    As other, wiser people on this site have said, only your wife can decide to give up drinking and it is unlikely that anything you say or do will encourage her to do so. Again as other people have said the alcoholic is selfish and deceptive, with a big dollop of self-pity thrown in for good measure. That is not to say that she does not need your love and support, if you are able to give it. I am not sure that I would have been able to put up with what my partner did but I am grateful that he did stay around (and still is). You also have to consider your daughter who is almost certainly aware that her mother does not behave the same way as other mothers do.

    The bleak truth is that if your wife continues to drink she will almost certainly have a shortened life span and will most probably die of an alcohol related illness. Alcoholism is a horrible disease that ruins so many lives. I am sorry I can not be more optimistic but I wish you well and I hope that you can continue to gain support from this site.

    Sioban xx

  • what a great post sjobsn. I can relate to some of your journey. I too was the alcoholic that could not see past a bottle. nothing or no none could stop me .my ex husband didn't even try to ..he wasn't bothered about me .I'm happily divorced now and happily sober but one hell of a ride .the only thing that woke me up was being admitted to hospital with ascites that I had never heard of .in pain .and bleeding.. to be told I had 6 months to live..thank fully 9 years and on still here. it's sad but true you have to want to want to stop the drink or you end up hospitalised. well done on your sobriety. Linda

  • Thank you, Linda.


  • thanks Sioban, hopefully my wife kicks herself up the arse like you did, I think all i can do is just be there and try and be as supportive as poss, like what other people have said, she's got to want to stop herself, and i think i will be just wasting my time trying to convince her.. Congrats to you tho


  • Hi pete1980,

    You are right and it can only be her that can make any changes to her life. I have been asked how I did manage to stop but I honestly do not really know but I am very grateful that I did.

    I wish you all the best and I hope you can get help and advice from this forum, as I am sure you will. There are others that are in a similar situation as yours, where they are trying to support a loved one who is an alcoholic. From my own experience, not only is your wife's life a lonely one, but also yours, without the support and understanding of others.

    Sioban xx

  • Hi Pete, do you know why your wife drinks? If that could be addressed she may findvut easier ti quit, but quitting is very tough for those addicted to or reluant on alcohol.

    Low alcohol drinks may be an option to reduce how much alcohol she actually drinks - of course if shes obky drinking spirits that may be difficult, but you vould try this to start with.

    I hate to say this but watching someone die due to liver failure is horrendous and I would want to wish this condition on anyone.

    Please be there for her, be honest with her about her choice to drink, how you feel and what life would be like if she wasnt here with you. Dobt leave it until shes had a lot to drink begore you talk, try to keep it all calm.

    Sending you strength and hugs xoxo

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